Source: (2001) In Forgiveness and reconciliation: Religion, public policy, & conflict transformation, ed. Raymond G. Helmick, S.J., and Rodney L. Petersen, 373-384. With a foreword by Archbishop Desmond M. Tutu. Philadelphia: Templeton Foundation Press.Ortega begins her reflections on cultures of violence by recalling a critical episode in her own life – she was leading a group Bible study on the Book of Judith – when she was challenged to rethink her own perspectives on violence and peacemaking. With this in mind, she touches upon several matters: the roots of violence in complex cultural realities; challenges in fostering a true culture of life characterized by nonviolence in personal, social, and international terms; a call for churches to seek reconciliation and peace; and the development of a culture of solidarity in contrast to a culture of anti-life.